May also be called: Knock-Knees
Genu valgum (GEE-noo VAL-gum) is a condition in which the upper legs angle inward and the knees touch while the ankles are spread apart.
Genu valgum is a common condition in children and is almost always a normal part of a child's development. Because of the way their bodies are positioned in the uterus, most babies are born bowlegged and stay that way until about age 2 or 3. After that, their legs turn inward and take on a knock-kneed appearance until they're about 7 or 8 years old. At that time, the legs generally assume their normal alignment. In rare cases, genu valgum that develops later (at around age 6) can be a sign of an underlying bone disease.
Treatment for genu valgum is almost never required as the legs usually straighten out on their own. Severe knock-knees or knock-knees that are more pronounced on one side sometimes require treatment with braces that straighten the legs. Surgery to correct genu valgum is usually only done if the condition is severe and causes pain or difficulty walking.
In just about every case, genu valgum is a harmless condition that will eventually clear up on its own. When treatment is necessary, the results usually are very good and the condition is corrected with no long-term issues to worry about.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
|American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) The AAOS provides information for the public on sports safety, and bone, joint, muscle, ligament and tendon injuries or conditions.|
|American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.|
|American Academy of Family Physicians This site, operated by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), provides information on family physicians and health care, a directory of family physicians, and resources on health conditions.|
|Blount Disease Blount disease is a growth disorder that causes the bones of the lower leg to curve outward, making someone appear bowlegged.|
|Blount Disease Blount disease is a growth disorder that affects the bones of the lower leg, causing them to bow outward. The most obvious sign a person might have Blount disease is bowing of the leg below the knee.|
|Common Childhood Orthopedic Conditions Flatfeet, toe walking, pigeon toes, bowlegs, and knock-knees. Lots of kids have these common orthopedic conditions, but are they medical problems that can and should be corrected?|
|Problems With Legs and Feet Some kids have problems with their legs and feet. Find out more in this article for kids.|
What to expect when coming to Akron Children's
For healthcare providers and nurses
Residency & Fellowships, Medical Students, Nursing and Allied Health
For prospective employees and career-seekers
Our online community that provides inspirational stories and helpful information.